One of the best Warhammer 40K players that I used to game with a few years ago was a club member named “Dan”- he was a total mathhammer player, and I mean that as a compliment. In real life he was a mathematical mad scientist who could calculate the odd in a moment.
He would reduce your army to numbers and dice, and crunch the outcome of each movement, shooting phase vs. unit, and assault.
You. Could. Not. Win.
Some models in the Warhammer 40K game work like this- the numbers are so good you have to take them to stand a chance at winning.
And then there are units like the Maulerfiend that are “OK”, but from a mathhammer perspective could be better spend elsewhere.
But what about the cost of opportunity on the table?
Especially if you are more emotional-psychological player on the table?
Keep that in mind with the Maulerfiend as we first crunch the numbers.
Let’s start with movement, as I believe if there is anything that has and is going to define the standard of 8th edition it is MOVEMENT.
Games workshop has jacked up the power of models, shooting as a whole, and psychic powers.
The game plays quicker and is more lethal…
…and you deliver that power with movement.
The Maulerfiend at 10″ moves pretty fast, but is mostly an assault based unit which means outside of the magma cutters that movement is not augmented by shooting. A turn or two of moving but not shooting means I’m NOT running up the center of the table with it.
That relegates us to flank attacks- running up the side of the table and punching stuff- which works since you will only be taking firepower from the right or left side of the table depending on your movement side, since the physical edge of the table stops the rest. Experience in my Berzerkers of Skallathrax list shows the 10″ of movement works when attacking the flanks.
Powerfists, cutters, and tendrils- I’m a fan of the tendrils for the bonus attacks- taking down it’s hitting power a but against vehicles and single targets, but allowing it to chew through infantry that much faster.
Right now (as of this posting) most 40K armies seem to be infantry-heavy to take advantage of the flaws in the rules, that or Razorback spam, to again take advantage of the mass-dice-shooting rules.
How many space dogs do you take?
40K redundancy best practices would say TWO at a minimum, but even if you are using it as a distraction unit, and trying to spend the least amount of points, I would say two as a start.
Which brings us to the cost of opportunity.
Are model looks important in 40K?
On of the things I find over and over again when playing my Maulerfiends, and I keep track- I’m at 153 games in with them, is that the “look” powerful and players either move to counter them with more than needed, or they run away from them more than needed.
I believe they are a case of model fear playing off on the tactics, when in truth they fun to play for sure, but only “OK” in the mathhammer department.